Collie fly ash to be used in a novel concrete manufacturing process

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Image credit: Western Australian Government

A Murdoch University feasibility study funded by the WA Government has resulted in the development of a new concrete manufacturing process.

Working with local industry including Synergy, Bluewaters Power Station, and South32, the Murdoch University research team investigated the feasibility of using fly ash and other industrial by-products and waste materials as an ingredient in a low-carbon concrete product called ‘Colliecrete’.

Laboratory and field tests were carried out to determine if Collie has access to the necessary industrial by-products to use in the production of “Colliecrete”.

According to the Government’s statement, potential products could include retaining wall blocks, sea walls, sound barrier walls, culverts, kerbing, and storm water pipes.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan – who joined representatives from Murdoch University and the Colliecrete research team to receive the report – said there were considerable stockpiles to support the manufacturing of ‘Colliecrete’ products well beyond 2030, when state-owned coal power stations at Muja and Collie will cease operations.

“The McGowan Government has been working hard to strengthen and diversify Collie’s economy through the development and attraction of new industries including green manufacturing opportunities such as ‘Colliecrete’ as part of its economic transition,” he continued.

“This study has shown there is significant potential to recycle coal fly ash in manufacturing a low carbon cement product, giving new purpose to a by-product leftover from 60 years of burning coal in power generation plants.

“A geopolymer concrete manufacturing industry would be the first of its kind in Western Australia.”